SPANISH FORK — The Spanish Fork Fairgrounds are becoming a more permanent location for the Utah County Fair and other countywide events, thanks to a land deal between the county and the city.

County officials bought the 11-acre pasture east of the fairgrounds for about $1.3 million and are using it to partner with the city so the venue can be used by any county resident at no additional charge. The agreement comes up for a public hearing before the Utah County Commissioners on Sept. 16, Commissioner Larry Elertson said.

The City Council won't hold a hearing, but the agreement is on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting beginning at 6 p.m. in City Hall, 40 S. Main, City Manager Dave Oyler said.

The 50-year contract aims at resolving two key issues: where to put the county fair and where to provide an equestrian center for residents of Spanish Fork and other Utah County communities.

"There will be just one countywide (set of) fees," Oyler said.

Previously fees were different for residents and nonresidents.

The city and county have no plans to build additional facilities, he said. The fairgrounds already have arenas and barns for horse lovers. The 11 acres will continue to be used as they were during the county fair earlier this month as a staging area for horse shows, parking and a demolition derby.

A countywide equestrian center interests Payson officials. The city has struggled with getting another equestrian center after razing its historic Payson Downs several years ago.

"That's a great window (of opportunity)," said Karl Teemont, Payson community services director.

Just how booked the facility will be is unknown, he said, but the additional land shows the county is interested in meeting the needs of equestrians.

The Utah County Fair has moved to various location since it left the fairgrounds 10 years ago. From 2001 to 2007 it was at Thanksgiving Point after being held at then-Utah Valley State College for a few years.

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